Iron ManSince we're on a super-hero movie kick (sorry, high-minded movie fans) I was wondering if you guys caught the first image of the armor from the forthcoming 2008 Iron Man movie over at EW.com?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HARD CORE Iron Man fan. As I type this, no less than 13 different Iron Man figures are staring at me from atop a nearby shelf. I would even go so far to say that I'm a bigger fan of Iron Man than Spider-Man. I mean, Spider-Man will always be my first love. But I have a thing for the second-tier characters. Of course, that's less and less the case with Iron Man these days.

There is something I've always found very visually appealing about Iron Man and I think it's because the technology he utilizes allows artists to create variations on a theme for his signature look. That's a lot of fun. Even the crap armor designs I love because they're trying something new and it fits within the motivations of the character.

I mean, you can slap Spider-Man into a dark suit to make him more "moody" and it looks cool. But we all know that's not who Peter Parker is. Iron Man, on the other hand, is constantly upgrading and improving his armor and the look progresses because of it. The only thing non-progressive about the character is his origin story. In the comics, he was wounded by a piece of shrapnel selling arms and munitions during the Vietnam War. He was held captive and forced to design a chest plate to keep his heart beating. He built the armor around it and escaped. Timely when the character was introduced, sure. But a little stale 40-plus years later.

In recent years they've tried to update the conflict placing him in Afghanistan. But in another 40 years, it'll be the same problem.

At any rate, the topic I really wanted to address was the armor design for the movie. Stan Winston is doing visual effects. He's the guy who created the Alien, Robocop, the Predator, the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and the Terminator. So you know you're in good hands. I just want to breathe a huge sigh of relief that they're staying faithful to the armor design from the comics. The smartest thing director Jon Favreau did was hire artist Adi Granov as a technical adviser. Granov was the last artist to update Iron Man's look and it's probably one of my favorite interpretations yet. To me it says they're taking it seriously.

Anyway, I could geek out for hours. But I didn't want to let this slip by without saying something about it.

Is anyone else excited for Iron Man in 2008?